Washington Snap Count vs. Lions: More mistakes, miscues, and miscommunications

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There is a simple rhythm to Washington Football Team games in 2020: Terrible first half better second half.

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, they were very bad for all four quarters against the Los Angeles Rams and quite good for all four against the Dallas Cowboys.

But against the Detroit Lions Sunday, it was the same old same old: Washington fell behind 24-3 thanks to some mistakes on offense on the first drive of the game and a pair of defensive mistakes.

And then the second half started. In four possessions on offense: Alex Smith and the offense scored 24 points and had the game tied with 16 seconds left.

But this team simply can’t avoid mental meltdowns and lost 30-27 in regulation. Here is who played and who didn’t for Washington in Week 10:

Offense: 88 total plays
Quarterback and Offensive Line:
Alex Smith - 88 (100%)
Morgan Moses - 88 (100%)
Chase Roullier - 88 (100%)
Brandon Scherff - 88 (100%)
Wes Schweitzer - 88 (100%)
Cornelius Lucas - 64 (73%)
David Sharpe - 24 (27%)

This was Alex Smith’s best game in quite a long time. Despite not throwing a touchdown, he had 390 yards passing and did well to get Washington back into the game. The offensive line was so-so and battled: Cornelius Lucas went down with an injury in the second half and Morgan Moses had to switch to left tackle. Smith was sacked twice (with one being costly), but some of that is about his own limitations, not the offensive lines. Run blocking remains an issue.

Running Backs:
J.D. McKissic - 62 (70%)
Antonio Gibson - 33 (38%)
Peyton Barber - 10 (11%)

Sunday was billed as the Adrian Peterson revenge game, but it was the J.D. McKissic revenge game! Who knew he was the key to it all? He was targeted 15 times (seven catches for 43 yards) and had eight carries for a paltry six yards. He should have had a TD in the first half, but Smith’s pass was off target.  Antonio Gibson, who was dealing with a banged-up shoulder, toughed it out to find the end zone twice on short runs and tallied 65 all-purpose yards. The production on the ground game from this unit is still lacking: 58 yards on 23 carries for a 2.52 average. Ooof.

Wide Receivers:
Terry McLaurin - 86 (98%)
Cam Sims - 83 (94%)
Steven Sims - 40 (45%)
Isaiah Wright - 29 (33%)
Jeff Badet - 5 (6%)

Terry McLaurin had another big game with 95 yards on seven catches (plus a 27-yard run), but he lost his first career fumble late in the first half costing Washington a shot at points. In just 29 plays, Isaiah Wright was targeted six times and caught every pass for 59 yards. That’s a good return on investment. This wide receiver unit took advantage of some soft spots in the Lions’ zone defense, but that’s a good thing. Jeff Badet had a target late in the game that made no sense.

Tight Ends:
Logan Thomas - 87 (99%)
Jeremy Sprinkle - 4 (5%)
Temarrick Hemingway - 1 (1%)

Logan Thomas revenge game! He caught four passes (six targets) for 66 yards. He is a serviceable NFL tight end and looks like he belongs.

Defense: 59 total plays
Defensive Line:
Daron Payne - 54 (92%)
Jon Allen - 51 (86%)
Chase Young - 49 (83%)
Montez Sweat - 38 (64%)
Tim Settle - 27 (46%)
Ryan Kerrigan - 23 (39%)
Ryan Anderson - 8 (14%)
James Smith-Williams - 1 (2%)

There just wasn’t enough impact from this group. And when they did have a big impact: Chase Young had a terrible personal foul penalty that helped Detroit get in position for the game-winning field goal. The bad from this unit was very bad: No sacks, no tackles for loss, no pass deflections, no quarterback hits. Montez Sweat: 1 tackle. Young: 2 tackles. Payne: 2 tackles. Allen: 3 tackles. Not good enough.

Linebackers:
Jon Bostic - 59 (100%)
Cole Holcomb - 59 (100%)
Kevin Pierre-Louis - 14 (24%)
Shaun Dion Hamilton - 4 (7%)

This unit struggled. Cole Holcomb and Jon Bostic had issues in pass coverage and struggled against the run. Lions rookie RB D’Andre Swift averaged 5.1 yards per attempt on 16 carries and old friend Adrian Peterson had 21 yards on four runs. Swift ate Bostic’s lunch on a second-half touchdown catch. He finished with 68 yards on five catches.

Secondary:
S Kamren Curl - 59 (100%)
CB Kendall Fuller - 59 (100%)
CB Ronald Darby - 55 (93%)
S Deshazor Everett - 32 (54%)
S Troy Apke - 27 (46%)
CB Jimmy Moreland - 22 (37%)
CB Fabian Moreau - 8 (14%)

If Kendall Fuller doesn’t play well this unit will struggle. He had two plays that were not good enough (along with Jimmy Moreland on the second) and it cost Washington two touchdowns. Kamren Curl was dependable in the secondary and had the team’s only sack.